Interior of the old Tin Church
The New Church and the old Tin Church
The land on which the church and presbytery are built was bought in 1909 by the then Bishop of Portsmouth, Bishop Cahill. Fr Nagle, a priest from St Edmund's, was put in charge and appointed to the Portswood Mission, as it was then known. Within months, an iron church was built, still known by some as 'the old tin church', and this building was blessed by Bishop Cahill on February 20th, 1910.
In the 1920's the Portswood Mission was served by two curates from St Edmund's, Fr Bernard Lindsay and Fr O'Sullivan. We became a parish in 1931, and Fr Lindsay was appointed as our first Parish Priest. He lived in a flat in Grosvenor Road until the presbytery was built a few years later. Fr Lindsay saw the parish through the war, and he had the statue erected in the garden in thanksgiving for the survival of the property despite the bombing.
Fr Walter Lynch came in 1948 with the ambition of opening a new church alongside the 'tine church'. This was realised on March 25th 1955. He died on March 28th 1962, worn out working to pay off the debt.
He was followed by Fr Daniel Rea (1962-70), Fr Cormac Murphy O'Connor (1970-71), Fr Patrick Murphy O'Connor (1971-83), Fr Roy Bennett (1983-89), Fr Michael Peters (1989-94), Fr Tom McGrath (1994-99), Fr John Nuttall (1999-2000), Fr Paul Spellman (2000-2008, Fr Antony Gatt (2008-)
Within the parish boundaries are also the University, served by its own chaplain, and the Polish Centre, based opposite the church.